Reinterpreting the Chinese classics:”Lend me the strength, fair winds, to finally fly away to the azure sky”

President Xi quoted “Lend me the strength, fair winds, to finally soar to the azure sky” when meeting with short-track speed skaters who had just returned from the Asian Winter Games, in Capital Indoor Stadium on February 24, 2017.

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The phrase is derived from A Dream of Red Mansions by Cao Xueqin, a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) novelist, who lived over 260 years ago. The work is one of the four great Chinese classical novels. The phrase is now cited to inspire people to pursue opportunities for advancement.

Xi also said the key to China’s future lies with the younger generation. A strong sports industry is important for a strong China. Xi hopes China can seize the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics as an opportunity to boost ice and snow sports by strengthening ice sports in which Chinese athletes are already doing well, improving weaker areas. snow sports and engaging in sports in which China has little previous experience.

After more than six years of preparation, the Games will begin on February 4. The 2022 Games have taken winter sports in China by leaps and bounds, while helping to boost its economic and social development. Thus, the importance of the Games transcended that of its disciplines and events.

China’s hosting of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics is part of China’s pursuit of high-quality development. China has pledged to hold green, inclusive, open and clean Winter Games to demonstrate its new development vision.

Providing wonderful Olympic Games is China’s commitment, and China honors it. Against the backdrop of a changing international landscape and the COVID-19 pandemic, China simultaneously contained the virus and prepared for the Games.

The country has made steady progress towards both goals with growing openness and confidence, contributing to global recovery.

The Winter Games will fuel the growth of Beijing as well as neighboring Tianjin Municipality and Hebei Province. The ice and snow industry is a new driver of this growth.

The construction of Olympic venues, environmental protection, ecological restoration, improvement of people’s well-being and sharing of resources among the three have strengthened the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

The Games also promoted the Healthy China initiative. Driven by the public’s passion for the Games, more than 1,000 ice and snow sports venues have been built across the country. The number of people working in the industry exceeded 50 million. Ice and snow events occurred in many areas. Winter sports have gained popularity in schools and communities, becoming Chinese people’s favorite pastimes and helping to improve national physical fitness.

The sky is the limit not only for Olympians at the 2022 Games, but also for all those dedicated to advancing the Olympic spirit and the common good of humanity.

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